Part of the Introductions to Chinese Culture series, this book covers the great variety of unique festivals that have evolved over the course of China's long history, describing a representative selection of 42 traditional and statutory events. Like all the books in the series, it is written by a noted expert in the field, well illustrated with colour photographs and offers an ideal introductory survey for both students and general readers.
The Chinese Art Book
Examining Chinese art over several millennia, this unconventional volume presents reproductions or photographs of a vast range of artefacts and paintings, each one juxtaposed with another work on the facing page, and producing unexpected dialogues across time, culture and genre. Shitao's Riverbank of Peach Blossoms (c.1700), for example, is paired with a 2006 installation, Sketch the Sketch Lesson by Qiu Xiaofei, but the volume includes sculptures, ceramics, calligraphy and photographs ranging in date from prehistory to the 21st century.
On the Trail of Old Traditions
There are more than 50 ethnic minorities in the People's Republic of China, most of them living in remote regions of the country. Photographer Alessandra Meniconzi has journeyed across China following the trail of traditional cultures and lifestyles from Yunnan's endless rice terraces in the deep south to the historic trading hubs in north-western Xinjiang. This magnificent collection of her colour photographs documents many traditional ways of life that could soon cease to exist.
East Asia Before The West
Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute
Challenging Eurocentric theories of international relations, Kang analyses how the East Asian system functioned from the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 to the start of the Opium Wars in 1841, a period which saw only two large-scale conflicts between China and its neighbours. After explaining how the 'tribute system' fostered diplomatic and commercial exchange, he ends by considering the contribution of the region's formal hierarchy to the increasing stability and integration of the modern East Asian world.
Imagination, Magic and Myth
The unique art inspired by Tibet's cultural amalgam of Shamanism and Buddhism is meant to be of specific use and spiritual benefit to everyone. Rawson discusses a wealth of photographs which depict not only the artistic productions of the past but also the activities of the present-day monks who continue ancient traditions, with their mandalas, mantras and meditation offering 'powerful, untarnished and coherent alternatives to Western egotistical lifestyles'.
South Asia from Partition to the Present Day
Dispersed across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, midnight's descendants – the generations born since the midnight partition of British India in 1947 – are the world's fastest-growing population. This first comprehensive history of this complex and inter-connected region charts its uneven and often fraught path to modernization; the volatile relationship between India and Pakistan; the rise of religious fundamentalism; the bitter wars in Kashmir and Sri Lanka; and the area's increasing influence on global economics and geopolitics.
The Seventy Wonders of China
China is both the oldest continuous civilization on Earth and an emerging economic superpower. This impressive volume assembles a team of leading scholars from Asia and the West to provide an accessible introduction to the natural, historical and cultural wonders of this vast nation. Illustrated with colour photographs throughout, the book celebrates China's rivers, mountains and deserts; its cities ancient and modern; its monuments such as the Great Wall; and its myriad art forms, from porcelain to jade carving.
Visions of Fuji
Artists from the Floating World
Mount Fuji, with its majestic cone and snow-capped summit, has inspired artists and writers for centuries. This volume, with embossed foil cover, discusses its continuing influence, and focuses on the series of views of the mountain by the giants of Japanese woodblock art, Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858). Hundreds of reproductions show this emblem of perfection, symmetry, spiritual balance and endurance in all its many guises, while the text follows the evolution of the artists' work.
A Journey Through Indo-China
Indo-China is the vast, varied region that extends between the Chinese landmass and the Malay Peninsula, the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. Connected by rivers and divided by mountains, it is home to a rich diversity of peoples, cultures and languages. This attractive book describes the history, geography and climate of each of its five countries. Colour photographs convey the powerful appeal of its vibrant cities, ancient temples, lush rainforests and idyllic beaches.
The People Who Made a Civilization
Covering three millennia of Chinese history, this book comprises 96 short biographies of people from as wide a range of regions, ethnicities, eras and achievement as possible. Illustrated with portraits and other artworks, the listing begins with a woman - Fu Hao, a royal consort and female warrior of the 13th century BCE - and includes people from every sphere of political, military, cultural, artistic and scientific life, up to the end of the 20th century.
One of the world's foremost historians of China, Jonathan Spence presents a concise biography of Mao Zedong, deflating myths and showing how, through relentless energy and ruthless self-confidence, Mao was able to attain so much power and hold on to it for so long. Spence likens him to a 'Lord of Misrule', turning traditional Chinese society upside down in 'a long drawn-out adventure in upheaval'.
The Art of Princely Courts in Fifteenth-Century China
Beginning with the reign of the Yongle emperor (1403–1424), this richly illustrated catalogue presents over 120 artefacts once owned by princes of the Ming dynasty during the period up to the death of the Jiajing emperor in 1566. Indicative of the fabulous wealth of the Ming rulers, the pieces described and photographed include gold and silver vessels, jewellery and jade, paintings, porcelain and clothing. The volume also contains essays on aspects of Ming art history and recent archaeological finds.
Peake in China
Memoirs of Ernest Cromwell Peake
Dr Ernest Peake (1874-1950), the father of Mervyn Peake, was a newly qualified doctor when he was sent to China by the London Missionary Society in 1899, and he practised medicine in Hunan province and Tientsin until 1923. These memoirs describe his experience of 'the Celestial Empire' during a period that saw the violent end of Manchu rule and the start of the Chinese Republic. The memoirs are published here for the first time, with an introduction by Hilary Spurling.
Culture on the Edge
The Tibetan way of life is changing fast, with new transport links and communications infrastructure bringing ever more tourists and technology. The environment itself is also in jeopardy as the region heats up and glaciers that feed important water sources flowing into China, India and Pakistan recede. This photographic portfolio presents studies of the striking people, landscapes and customs of Tibet with reference to how these modern threats are affecting the country's traditional devotional Buddhist culture.
Malaysia offers a striking variety of attractions for the visitor, from the high-rise skyline of the capital Kuala Lumpur to pristine beaches and rainforest trekking. Illustrated with colour photographs on every page, this attractive book gives an overview of Malaysia's geography, history, people, religion, arts and cuisine, before exploring both parts of the country: Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. Special features cover a wide range of topics, from festivals to street art.
The Art of Japanese Paper Theater
Before giant robots, space ships, and masked super heroes filled the pages of Japanese comic books--known as manga--such characters were regularly seen on the streets of Japan in kamishibai stories. Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater tells the history of this fascinating and nearly vanished Japanese art form that paved the way for modern-day comic books, and is the missing link in the development of modern manga.
The Jesuit Century
When the Jesuit missionary Antonio de Andrade set out from Agra in 1624, no European had visited Tibet and almost nothing was known of the country or its inhabitants. This book describes the travels and achievements of Andrade and four other Jesuits who made the long and perilous journey across difficult terrain and without maps. The final missionary is Ippolito Desideri, who stayed in Tibet from 1716 to 1721 and wrote a long and detailed account of the country.
Symbols of China
A colourful and very accessible introduction to Chinese culture, this book comprises concise, well-illustrated and richly informative articles on aspects of the country ranging from natural wonders such as the magical Stone Forest to chop sticks. Beginning with cultural icons, including calligraphy, fengshui and the four auspicious creatures, the book has chapters covering architecture, festivals, daily life, arts and crafts, legends, famous historical figures and the performing arts.
All is Change
The 2000-Year Journey of Buddhism to the West
The West's embrace of Buddhism, seemingly a relatively recent phenomenon, actually came about over the course of two millennia, despite the obstacles of language, cultural difference and colonial and post-colonial politics. From early exchanges between the ancient Greeks and Indian Buddhists to the current fascination with the Dalai Lama, Sutin describes how the West discovered that Buddhism offers teachings and practices which can be used within disciplines such as Western philosophy, psychology and politics.
Cambodia, the Buddha and the Naga
Buddhism is more than a religion in Cambodia; it is a comprehensive system for living. This absorbing study, illustrated with colour photographs throughout, describes the Buddha's path to enlightenment, and the role of the naga, or serpent king, in protecting him. Through individual stories, it traces the cycle of death and rebirth, and shows how spirituality informs every aspect of the life of the nation.